In Memory of





Obituary for Ellen Carol Hawkins (Marshall)

Ellen Carol Hawkins

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ellen Carol Hawkins (Marshall), beloved wife of Victor Cameron Hawkins and loving mother of Jennifer (Colin) and Lesley (Mark) and grandmother to Cameron, Gillian, Callum, and Fiona. She was a loving wife and partner, a caring mother, entertaining grandmother, courageous explorer, nurse, accomplished writer, avid hiker, Scottish country dance teacher, and a leader in all her community activities.

Ellen was raised in New Liskeard, Ontario and after graduating from nursing college in St. Catherines, Ontario, she moved out to Vancouver as her father had said that he had never seen the Rocky Mountains, so she felt that she had to go. There she met a group of English nurses who encouraged her to visit Britain. A year later she set off on a Greyhound bus for Acapulco where she boarded an ocean liner to Southampton, England. After a period in London and Edinburgh, Ellen and her traveling companion Lil then decided to go to Ireland and set off for Glasgow to catch the boat only to find that there were no sailings that day. Her friend Lil remembered that she had a contact in Glasgow through which Ellen met her husband-to-be.

Victor and Ellen had an immediate deep love. Three months later they announced their engagement in December and married in March as he worked for an international company and was being sent to Portugal. This was the beginning of an international adventure living in Switzerland, Chile (where Jennifer was born), Scotland (where Lesley was born), Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada, Chile again, and the USA, after which Victor retired. They moved back to Santiago, Chile where they spent a further 15 years before returning to Canada.

Throughout their many postings Ellen travelled widely. Ellen had the ability to adapt to many different situations always with a smile and a positive attitude. In Bogor, Indonesia many of the basics of living were missing or restricted. She raised their two girls there. Jennifer was three years old and Lesley 18 months old when they arrived. Medical assistance was rudimentary, so Ellen had to rely on her nursing training and good judgement. Ellen set up a school in the spare bedroom and garden for Jennifer and some other expatriate children and taught them for two years. With encouragement from the management of the local Goodyear facility she organized the start-up of a larger school to accommodate the increasing number of expatriate families living in the town. She ran the school and taught during the first year. That school has now grown into a major educational establishment in Bogor.

Ellen impacted every community in which she lived by volunteering for numerous charities and church organizations and led Scottish country dancing groups. During her time in Chile, she formed and led a hiking group, became an accomplished writer, penning Djinxed, a memoir about the family’s adventures in Indonesia, and wrote several anthologies with the Santiago Writers, a writing group which she founded.

Every family experiences death at some point. It is for our family a great sadness as Ellen was the fulcrum of the family. That she died from Parkinson’s disease which slowly destroyed her mind is perhaps the most tragic aspect because she had a fine mind, full of curiosity, humour, and great imagination. She was determined and one of several “pushy Marshall women” in her extended family who was a leader in all her activities. She will be greatly missed, not only by the family, but by many friends across the world.

We thank the wonderful team at Bradford Valley Care Community for their compassionate and loving care during her residence there.

A private family burial has taken place. Visitation will be held on Friday, June 21, 2024 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 484 Water Street, Newmarket at 1:30pm. A memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. All are welcome to join the family for refreshments in the parish hall following the service,

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ellen’s memory to Parkinson Canada.
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May she rest in peace.